FinTech Female Fridays: Elsa Chan, Head of Americas, ComplyAdvantage
Can you talk about your career path and what led you to become Head of Americas
I started my first company at 21 years old, focused on consumer technologies building.
After that, I went on to start a second company dedicated to smart energy and internet
of things selling hardware and software. I have always enjoyed building solutions that
significantly impact people’s lives and for me, there is no greater joy than to see other’s
utilizing a product that you help create.
I joined ComplyAdvantage almost serendipitously, when I was exploring building a new
platform to securitize offerings using Blockchain, I discovered the importance of
compliance and AML and learned about the firm. When I met the ComplyAdvantage
team, I was inspired by the company’s culture. passion and mission to help financial
institutions stop terrorist financing and money laundering.
Regulatory technology is a massive part of the FinTech space; what changes have
you seen in the past year in this sector and what trends do you foresee this year?
We are already seeing an increase in regulations globally in order to address the rapid
innovations that are happening in financial services. From faster payments to virtual
assets, you will see regulators and institutions leverage regtechs to help keep up with
the growing and evolving market demands. We also see open banking and
information sharing as two new trends that will be heavily debated and invested in over
the next 12-24 months.
As someone who also co-found Jetlun, what advice could you give to FinTech
Female founders starting their businesses?
My advice is to always speak up and do not be afraid to ask for things. As a female, I think we have a tendency to accept things as they are instead of pushing back and fighting for what we believe in. And most important of all, believe in yourself and in your intuition.
How were you able to build your network and maintain these relationships?
The best way to build your network is to simply get out there. Go to local meetups and events where you can make meaningful connections, such as NYC Fintech Women. Ask people for referrals. Initiate conversations on LinkedIn. To maintain relationships, I follow people on social media and invite them to coffee to build these relationships. It is not easy and it takes time to maintain, but it is critical to build a strong network. I push everyone around me to prioritize building and maintaining their network.
How are you able to balance your work and personal life?
It is essential to balance your work and personal life to avoid burnout. It is easy to work that extra hour or take that call late at night, whatever you do, you have to figure out a way to balance work and life that works for you.
I am trying to be better at leaving work at the office and I find that there is no other way to balance your work and personal life other than to schedule it on your calendar. It is also important to make sure you turn work off during your personal time and life so you are not constantly checking email or instant messengers on your phone. I still need to reminded to take time off. It is important to have trusted friends and colleagues to remind you.
Reach out to Elsa on LinkedIn.